As education systems seek to reconfigure themselves for a world that grows ever more complex and uncertain, they must find ways of helping all of our young people to work together to build a better global society for themselves and their descendants. The rate of technological change now outstrips the ability of one generation to keep up with the developments that the next generation takes as part of their normality. This leads to a major disconnect particularly between parents and their children and between the teachers and their pupils. This gap looks likely to increase as we move into the future. Educators must address these issues and equip young people to be effective in this fast evolving world.
This process should start early in life so that by the time young people are contributing to society, they are ready, willing and able to relate positively to technological innovation and, most importantly, their counterparts from different cultures and geographies. All of this must be done so that our current and subsequent generations can contribute positively to the most important of common causes – our shared future. If this is achieved, the power of working together on the complex issues that they and we all face, will be greatly amplified.
Almost all existing curricula are centred on a western perspective of the contributions made throughout history by scientists, inventors, explorers, discoverers, writers, artists, poets and philosophers. This perspective is populated by globally recognised names, almost all of them European or, from an earlier time, Greek.
Whilst Newton, Da Vinci, Shakespeare, Copernicus, Aristotle and their ilk undoubtedly made great contributions to our understanding of the world, other cultures, in different times and places, provided much of the foundations of our modern world and a great deal of the knowledge that these well-known names built upon. Isaac Newton is known to have said “If I saw further, it is because I stood on the shoulders of giants”.
This disparity of recognition and acknowledgement of the great contributions made by all cultures leads to an imbalance of the perceived importance of different cultures. This in turn leads to an imbalance in self-esteem and an unequal standing of different cultures on the world stage.
The first step in Curriculum Enrichment for the Future’s approach is to address this imbalance by exploring our shared history in a new way, and looking afresh at what is presented and how it relates to our modern world. The purpose of doing this is not just to address the imbalance, but also to help young people learn how to look with inquisitive non-judgmental eyes at the world of the past, and the present world in which they live – and form their own more open view of what they see. From this position they can work together towards a better shared future. This process uses innovative, unique teaching and learning frameworks, filled with meticulously researched and prepared content. This content is presented using the best new technologies and techniques such as animations, web sites, on-line learning and teaching systems, videos, as well as traditional printed materials. This enables young people to become more mature world citizens who see their world and their counterparts through the lens of a positive and open attitude, informed by the importance of acceptance and appreciation of all cultures, including their own.
The enrichment that this approach brings applies to all aspects of life and leads directly to ways of communicating and working together that help all children, and ourselves, to share the vitally important work of building a better future for all.